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KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
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I have a question regarding re-establishing my ...

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I have a question regarding re-establishing my wife''s trust. We kind of went through a rough stretch and I was depressed after being laid off for 6 months. I also know I have an anger problem, and I think I''m finally coming to realize what I need to do to get that under control through much self reflection and also I am seeking professional help. The way I violated her trust, prior to starting to deal with my anger issue is that I somehow got in the habit of looking at porn online. I don''t know how this started or why, I think it was more of a convenience thing, I became lazy in our relationship and turned away from her and to porn instead. She discovered this once and we had a big fight, but I still didn''t listen. It happened again, and I think I finally understand why it upset her so much when she explained it, and I actually listened to her and viewed it from her perspective. I know if the roles were reversed I would have been hurt deeply too. So I guess my question is, how do I gain back her trust and repair the damage I have done? I''ve already deleted all porn I downloaded, and also threw out all of my Playboys even though she said she had no problem with them. Any help or recommendations you can give would be greatly appreciated, I really do love her and don''t want to lose her.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 9 years ago.

The only way you can get her trust back is get the help that you said you are going to get and slowly rebuild her trust through your actions, she has to feel she can trust you not to download anymore porn and she probably felt that you didn't find her attractive anymore and would rather watch young women on the Internet rather than have sex with her. It will be a process that you will have to go through I think once she sees that you truly are seeking help for this porn addiction she will learn to trust you again. Explain to her that you have taken her for granted and for that you are sorry. Show her that your appreciate her once in a while buy her flowers, take her to dinner, making her a romantic dinner at home she just wants to know that you appreciate her as your wife and wants to feel wanted again. Explain that the fact that you lost you job for that 6 months made you feel like you weren't doing your part as a husband and the porn may have been a way for you to feel like manly again and that it had nothing to do with her and that you love her and cherish her and you want to show her that.

Your wife may have felt like the porn became your wife instead of her, let her know that isn't true give her some of her confidence back that the porn may have taken away. Deleting the porn and getting rid of the Playboy magazine is a start be still think about getting the counseling to help you better understand why you needed to turn to porn also consider Marriage counseling to help you get your marriage back on track and may even make it much stronger.

KimberlyF and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to KimberlyF's Post: Thanks for the quick response. She has made the comment that she felt inadequate and I know I pushed her away by doing what I was doing. I have already told her I'm sorry and I was taking her and our relationship for granted (my exact words). I feel terrible that I was too stupid to see the harm that I was doing to her. She has asked for space, and we are currently sleeping in separate rooms. We have always said I love you to each other when we both leave for work in the morning, and I asked her if right now me continuing to say this hurts and she said yes and preferred I not say it. I'm trying really hard to give her the space she needs and not smother her, but I also don't want to seem distant, uncaring and un-loving. Do I continue to not tell her I love her in the mornings? I just really am not sure what to do, it's a Catch 22.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 9 years ago.

All you can do is give her whatever she asks for this will show her that you really are trying and you really do want what is best for her, she is angry right now and I don't think she think you mean it when you said it because she thinks she wasn't enough for you and that is why you turned to porn. Just give her some time give it about a week and then try saying it in the morning before you leave again and see what her response is then, if she doesn't respond to that but doesn't get mad either then I would continue to say it every morning before you left for work also you could try getting up early making her breakfast and then write her a note saying I know I don't deserve your love right now but I didn't want to continue on not saying I love you in the mornings before I left in case something were to happen to either of us this could make her think how important life is and telling someone you love how you feel every minute of the day. For the first week you will have to walk on eggshells but show her you are willing to get the help you need and then after you start counseling ask her to possibly start Marriage counseling also.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to KimberlyF's Post: Thanks for your help, I think having a woman's perspective on this has really helped. We talked briefly this morning, and I think the queue's I've been picking up on about not giving her enough space since we started sleeping in separate bedrooms was true. I offered to go stay with my Dad a bit so I can get out of her hair, it's just so hard to not say I love you to her because I don't want to seem distant. I just hope I'm doing and saying the right things to justify her trust in me and that I am willing to change for myself, her and our relationship. She just seems so distant right now I don't know if she even really cares about anything.

Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 9 years ago.

I don't think you staying at your fathers home is a good idea then she may think that you are over there looking at porn and it may make things worse, you need to stay there and face this head on right now she is hurt and upset and this is her way of getting back at you for making her feel inadequate she doesn't really want to lose you or she would have made you move out when she first found out about everything being away from her now may not be to your benefit because she may realize that she can get just as much attention being alone. You need to show her that you want this marriage to work and be stronger than it has been, try buying her flowers and on the card put "Words nor actions could ever show you how much I love you and I'm sorry." Something to that affect let her know that this is tearing you up inside finally be honest with your feelings and let her back in to your life, she may feel you put her on the outside looking in and chose porn over her, show her that isn't true.

Right now she may not care and may be a little depressed because of not feeling wanted but don't hold that against her only time will heal those wounds, you leaving will not heal that pain for her. She may be showing you that she has shut down but she still feels something or this would not of hurt her so bad but what you have to do is make an effort and fight for you marriage. You should check into the counseling as soon as humanly possible this will also show her that you are taking the steps you need to gain her trust back. If she said yes as far as the father home is concerned you should tell her that you don't feel comfortable leaving her like this and if she still wants you to leave then respect her wishes but continue to try to get her trust back and start with the flowers and then check for a reputable counselor in your area. Show her that SHE and not the porn is the only thing that matters in your life.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

I agree, it does feel like that is giving up...but i'm trying to give her the space she needs. My father doesn't have internet access at his house which she knows so I'm really torn. I want to stay and work this out, but I don't want to smother her and push her away either. I can ask her again tonight and make sure this is what she wants, I've told her I want to work through this and that I love her...I just hope I haven't damaged her trust and our relationship too much and she is completely checked out.

Thanks again for your advice.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 9 years ago.

All you can do is try and if she loves you as much as you love her she will get over this and allow you back in, so she agreed for you to move to your father's home? Maybe if she didn't see you everyday it wouldn't be a constant remind of that what happened but if she still wants you to leave and give her space do that but check in every once in a while to make sure she is okay and making progress towards forgiving you, she may not be able to heal until she sees you making an effort so try to find that counselor so that she knows you are getting help and not trying to do it yourself.